What is Healing Wings?
To understand the pedigree and ethos of Pelgrim’s one only needs to look at its origins. The center is the latest addition to the Healing Wings family which includes St George’s reintegration center (halfway house) and Purpose Collage (the only privately registered youth center in South Africa) Pelgrim’s Place utilizes the experience and expertise from the most trusted long term treatment center in South Africa.
Where It All Began
In 2001, in a remote rural area of Southern Mozambique, a new drug rehab centre opened their doors. Comprising of a modified cow shed, half a hut, a water pit and a dream – Healing Wings began their legacy. The story began with a piece of land in rural Mozambique that had nothing; Hippos, crocodiles and dangerous snakes were the only residents. They had little funds to support their vision but the passion was stronger than the challenges they knew lay ahead.
The land had not been used since the Civil War – a dilapidated house was all that remained. Inhabited by goats and infested by mosquitos. It had no electricity, no clean water and no infrastructure.
In the beginning the living conditions were dreadful, but this didn’t matter as the goal was recovery at any cost. The center started with one patient from Mozambique and quickly grew. The need for a safe, long-term facility where addicts could recover was evident.
As the center grew, work allocations became integral to the program, allowing patients to feel hopeful and purpose-driven. These tasks included fetching water, working with and feeding horses, preparing vegetable gardens, working in the kitchen, making rustic furniture and more as part of their skills training.
Growth and Giving
A large part of the program included giving back to the community. Soup kitchens were held every evening and children’s Church every Saturday morning. The young women from the community, hungry to learn skills, were taught sewing and knitting, along with arts and crafts. Out of these initiatives a woman’s community initiative, Mamana Mudada meaning ‘’the women of the district’’ was born. Here local woman made and sold exotic jewellery, candle holders, wood carvings and beaded place mats. These were sold in America, South Africa and Mozambique. Patients from Healing Wings visited the nearby village Bela Vista daily to bring soup, bread and encouragement to the local prison and hospital where conditions were dire and AIDs rife. As the community developed, so too did the Healing Wings program. Patients began following the 12-step Celebrate Recovery programme that included group and individual therapy, counseling and bible studies. At recreation time they enjoyed swimming in the river, hiking and playing football, while taking trips to Mushangulu a village on the magnificent coast and bordering the Maputo Elephant reserve.
By 2003, Applications from South Africa started pouring in as word spread about the centre. Unfortunately, having South African patients in Mozambique was becoming logistically difficult. As a result, Healing Wings made the decision to move to South Africa. Sudwala, Mpumalanga provided a suitable home and a new era of Healing Wings had begun. The new facility was tailor made for a rehabilitation center. Healing Wings South Africa established itself after being in Mozambique for 12 years. It fully registered with the Department of Social Development and the Department of Education B.H.F and today it has helped countless individuals find freedom from addiction. Following shortly, the Healing Wings Youth Centre and Purpose College were established to enable recovery and schooling at the same time.
Today Healing Wings Sudwala Facility can accommodate up to 120 adults and youth. We offer a fully holistic program with a full complement of full time professional staff. This includes social workers, nursing sister’s, psychologists and accredited addiction councillors. The Healing Wings Johannesburg reintegration centre, St. Georges caters for inpatient and outpatient treatment. Providing a valuable conduit for those who need to reintegrate back into functional society. Purpose College, our hugely successful school that caters for troubled youth both at our Sudwala facility and in Johannesburg has an exemplary record with 100% matric pass rate.
A New Era
Now Pelgrims Place opens its doors to men suffering from addiction in the Western Cape. The mission statement remains to restore within an individual, the capacity to make life decisions, which are not dictated by circumstance, addiction or compulsion. One of the aims and objectives is to encourage the participation of parents/families/care givers. They can help in the recovery process through attendance at support groups. Helping to facilitate understanding of the treatment program and improve the process of reintegration into family and society.
Many things have changed over the years. However, the goal remains the same.
All glory goes to the Lord for his Protection Wisdom and Unfailing Love.